Author Topic: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza  (Read 475511 times)

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Offline dodude

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #300 on: November 21, 2005, 05:08:20 PM »
Long time reader, first-time poster. Go easy.

First off, I gotta take my hat off to Pete, who has really done a tremendous amount of work in experimentation, research, and documentation in the year-plus that this thread has been going. I have learned so much information about pizza dough which had previously eluded me, and I never would have arrived at what I consider to be the best pizza in my city if it wasn't for his work, so thanks a ton.

I'm 37, married with two kitchen-loving kids (5 and 2) in Madison WI. I started baking in 1988, and was the head night baker for The Bunnery in Jackson Hole, WY in 1990 (no I'm not the person responsible for the awesome OSM bread recipe, but I still have all the recipes at home :P ) after which I came back to Madison and ran the prep kitchen for Botticelli's, learning about soups, sauces and honing my knife skills. I gradually moved over to a night bakery position there because of my love for the craft. I had also held college jobs at various pizzerias (Little Caesars, Pizza Hut) and learned a bit about throwing rounds. I am also a computer programmer, and in the mid-90s began working as a website designer and applications programmer, which removed me from the food service industry entirely (for better and worse).

The biggest problem for me as a home baker is the difference in restaurant standard ingredients vs. consumer grade. I guess I just never realized how precious those 50 pound bags of 14.5% high-gluten flour really were.

I simply love to work with dough (it's a sickness according to my wife.....that and fishing). Dough is not a silent mushy ball. Dough tells you what it needs if you know how to read it, and a lot of that comes with experience. Recently, I embarked on a mission to create my own sourdough starter and master the basic water-starter-flour-salt baguette and it brought back memories of throwing dough at Little Caesar's. I have not had much luck with any pizza dough recipe I'd found at the typical recipe sites like epicurious and cooking.com. Something just wasn't working at all. The various doughs always seemed to taste like bread, regardless of what I did to them.....and I tried a lot of different recipes. Then I magically found this thread in Google when searching for New York Style Pizza. Duh. Gluten. Duh. I thought I was getting somewhere when I started using bread flour and it turned out a bit better, even though I was trying to get away from the "bready" flavor. I figured it was just that I had too much breadmaking under my belt to be able to pass off an authentic NY style pizza crust.

Alright, I've been doing the Lehmann recipe for a few weeks, using Pillsbury bread flour (I can't find KASL anywhere locally) and then finally came into the posts about supplementing the flour with gluten. I went out, bought a bag of King Arthur Bread Flour and some Arrowhead VWG at the local Whole Foods. The first thing I noticed when I yanked open the KA flour bag was HOLY CRAP this flour is sooooooo much finer, softer, and fluffier than the Pillsbury bread flour. It looked like tiny tiny snowflakes, and the bag was slightly bigger than the pillsbury for the same poundage. Now, the KA is twice the price of the Pillsbury, but it's gotta be 100 times better.....and hell, it's FLOUR we're talking about, not gasoline. You EAT it. I tried my version of Pete's Lehmann recipe, which is:
  • 12.45 Oz King Arthur Bread Flour
  • just under 1 Tablespoon Arrowhead VWG
  • slightly rounded teaspoon of morton iodized salt (the cylindrical box, not coarse kosher)
  • 7.80 Oz H20 @ 95 degrees F
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleischmann yeast
  • just under 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • almost 1 teaspoon of Olive Oil

I weighed out the flour (as I sifted it), measured out the dry ingredients and blended with the flour.

I weighed the water and put it in my KitchenAid Pro 6 with the dough hook on speed 1. Then I started my timer and added all the dry ingredients over the course of about 20 seconds. I left the speed on 1 and waited for the three minute mark. Then I added the almost 1 teaspoon of Olive Oil, and let the mixer go another two minutes. Occasionally I dropped the bowl down to reposition the dough on the fly. At 5 minutes, the dough was grabbing nicely, so I pulled it out and hand-kneaded for about another minute. So a total of 5 minutes in the mixer (never go above speed 1, it's really unnecessary for this task) and 1 extra minute by hand. One thing I've been learning with sourdough is that overkneading/overhandling wrecks the crumb, and I suspect that most people with mixers have a tendency to overknead because their triceps aren't invested in the task.

I balled 'em up and threw them in a large, olive-oiled tupperware container (with a little concavity to the lid for air expansion, so it wouldn't pop off in the fridge) 24 hours later, I threw a round into an old 15" Pizza Hut deep dish pan (I got a dented one from the store I worked long ago for free, and worked out the dent). I don't let it touch the sides of the pan, or it tends to brown the edge of the crust too much for my taste. Added some decent pizza sauce (where can I get 6-1s?) and shredded some decent local mozz over the top. a couple finger-ground sprinkles of pizza spices on top and then into the 475 degree oven for around 10-11 minutes.

I like simplicity. I like the basic cheese pie. This was BY FAR the best results I've ever had. I owe most of it to you guys. Thanks. It was very nearly a perfect replica of the NY street pies I remember from long ago. I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

(http://www.planetmadison.com/media/lehmann_grp001_003.jpg)

(http://www.planetmadison.com/media/lehmann_grp001_004.jpg)

(http://www.planetmadison.com/media/lehmann_grp001_009.jpg)

(http://www.planetmadison.com/media/lehmann_grp001_016.jpg)

(http://www.planetmadison.com/media/lehmann_grp001_024.jpg)



Offline chiguy

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #301 on: November 21, 2005, 05:45:54 PM »
 Hi, dodude
 Welcome to the forum and thanks for sharing you're experience. I really like the way you
 express you're feelings about working with dough. I noticed you said you have been reading for quite some time even though this is you're first post. I was wondering if you have tried this recipe on a pizza stone with higher temperatures. The pizza you made looks excellent but I think you can improve the crumb texture if you opt to try this method. I understand from the post you do not like over browned crust but the stone will add a different taste and texture worth experimenting with.          Thanks&goodluck, Chiguy

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #302 on: November 21, 2005, 06:43:52 PM »
dodude,

Welcome, and thank you for the kind remarks. I am always pleased when someone is able to make a good Lehmann pizza, such as the one you made.

I agree with chiguy that it is worth considering a pizza stone. When the dough is put on a cold pan and then placed in the oven, the pan will start to get hot before the pizza because metal has a higher heat conductivity/capacity than the pizza itself. So you may not get as good an oven spring. As long as the dough itself is properly made, with reasonable hydration and without overkneading, the oven spring should be quite good when the cold dough hits the hot pizza stone and the remaining yeast in the dough gives the dough its final burst of activity.

In terms of flour, the Pillsbury bread flour is a good flour. In fact, it is the one that Tom Lehmann often recommends to home pizza makers who do not have access to the kinds of flours that professionals use. Even some pizza operators use Pillsbury bread flour. I personally prefer the King Arthur bread flour, perhaps because I have had the greatest experience with that brand. FYI, the King Arthur Sir Lancelot high-gluten flour is not sold at the retail store level. It has to be purchased from King Arthur itself (usually in 3-lb. bags), or through bakery distributors, foodservice companies and other intermediaries, some of whom will sell to individuals on a cash-and-carry basis. But these folks sell only 50-lb. bags. If you make a lot of pizzas and you can get a 50-lb. bag without incurring very high shipping costs, the per pizza dough flour cost is very low.

BTW, while there is no harm in sifting the flour (you will be using weights anyway), there is no need to do so. The flour is already sifted at the miller's.

The 6-in-1 tomatoes can be purchased from several sources. Many of our members buy them directly from Escalon, at escalon.net. PennMac, at pennmac.com, also sells them (see the Pizza Makers tab and/or call 1-800-223-5928, and ask for Rose, who is a member of the forum). Some Kroger's also sell the 6-in-1s, but not all of them do (the three Kroger's near me don't). Some upscale food stores also sell them. If you order by mail-order, you should check overall cost, including shipping costs. Places like PennMac also sell many other high-quality pizza ingredients, which might enable you to get greater mileage out of the shipping costs if you decide to buy from them. The Escalon shipping costs are low, and the per can cost goes down once you buy more than 3 cans at a time.

Peter
« Last Edit: November 21, 2005, 09:38:12 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Peteg

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #303 on: November 22, 2005, 08:50:13 AM »
Dodude,
             I too have been reading here for a while without posting and I would also like to offer my thanks to everyone on this forum that has contribituted so faithfully.  This forum has helped my pie's grow to a level that I never could have achieved alone.  I am also from the Madison area and I thought I would offer a little insight on your 6in1's.  There are 3 places in Madison that I know of that carry them: Gino's Italian Deli on Verona road & Century Ave in Middleton and also Fabroni's on Monona Drive in Monona.  When I first started reading on this sight I noticed a lot of hype over Grande cheese and I think that it does have a slight edge over most of the other fresh mozz's that you'll find around here.  You can get fresh Grande in brine at the Willy Street Co-op.  Hope that helps.  Pete G

Offline dodude

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #304 on: November 22, 2005, 01:31:13 PM »
Chiguy and Pete-zza: I have considered quite a few things, but there's usually about a $50 difference between considering and doing ;) . I'd love to get a pizza stone. I saw one at the local Orange Tree Imports store, but it seemed rather thin (anybody got a pic of what a "good" one looks like?) and it was $35.

Now, according to my wife I've used up my "kitchen gadgets" budget for the next 300 years, so I must be thrifty (and sometimes stealthy) in these endeavours. About a month ago I got a Chicago Metallic vented double baguette pan, and so alas, I must wait about another month for a stone, and a peel, and one of these, and one of those, etc. etc  ;D

I'm not sure why the pan seems to work so well for me. I neglected to mention that I dust the pan with corn meal before laying on the crust, but I don't know if that matters. What you have to realize is that this pizza was an entirely new dimension better than the others I've been experimenting with over the years, which have been only slight percentages better than the previous. I'll probably start honing in on the subtle nuances more as I progress. I'm curious though, you mentioned:

Quote
When the dough is put on a cold pan and then placed in the oven, the pan will start to get hot before the pizza because metal has a higher heat conductivity/capacity than the pizza itself.

Doesn't the stone also have a higher heat conductivity/capacity than the dough? Maybe it's more the difference of warming up vs. hitting a blazing hot stone instantaneously that you were pointing out to me though.

As for sifting the flour...I think it just comes from my breadmaking experience. I was of the mind that packed flour tends to compress, and before combining with water you'd want to expose more surface area on the flour particles for quicker and more complete absorption. You're probably right that it shouldn't matter either way, but I guess it's just an old habit. Any thoughts on this?

Peteg: awesome. Nice to know there's someone else in this area on this BB. Thanks for the 6-1 and Grande spots. I'll be heading over to Gino's this aft. (yay!) If you ever want to split a 50# pounder of KASL, let me know.......You may be interested in this: If you'd like an insanely good somewhat greek-sicilian style pizza (I don't know how to describe this pizza, but I grew up on the stuff so I'm probably a bit biased) there's a place called Tony and Maria's in Janesville WI. It's only carryout. Everyone I've introduced to the pizza has become an instant T&M cultmember. The crust is truly something to behold. beheld. be-eaten. whatever. magical stuff, it is.

I'll be trying some new experiments (mwuahahahaha) soon. I'm gonna try a side-by-side pizza cookoff using Pillsbury vs. KA bread flour and see what the differences are. I'll post pics. Thanks again guys (and gals...pyegal I'm talking to you)!
« Last Edit: November 22, 2005, 03:39:31 PM by dodude »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #305 on: November 22, 2005, 03:24:58 PM »
dodude,

What I was trying to say is that when you put an unbaked pie on a pan in the oven, they are both cold and it is hard to get an oven spring as good as you will get when you put a cold dough on top of a very hot stone. Heat transfers from a hot object to a cold object. In the first case, the unbaked pizza and pan are basically in thermal equilibrium to begin with and they both get their heat from other parts of the oven. In the second case, the heat of the very hot stone quickly transfers to the colder unbaked pizza. That "shock" treatment is what helps produce a good oven spring as the remaining yeast in the dough uses itself up just before it dies (once the dough reaches about 140 degrees F). Usually the pizza and stone will not reach equilibrium because the pizza will be removed from the oven before then.

As far as sifting flour, it might be worth experimenting with some time to see if the hydration is improved by doing that. The weight of the flour won't change but maybe the hydration will be improved.

To see a typical pizza stone, you can go to this place: http://www.bigtray.com/productdetails.asp?catid=18005&sku=AMEPS1416. BTW, in lieu of using a pizza stone, you can also use clay tiles. They can be found at ceramic tile stores and at home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe's. They typically come in 6" x 6" or 8" x 8". I found the 6" x" 6" at Home Depot at $0.30 each. The tiles have to be unglazed. Depending on the interior dimensions of your oven, there may be some cutting involved.

Peter

Offline Steve

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #306 on: November 22, 2005, 06:45:10 PM »
dodude -- Run down to your local carpet/tile store and pick up some UNGLAZED QUARRY TILES. These tiles should be reddish-brown in color and be made from natural clay and nothing else. They are quite common and inexpensive and make an excellent "stone" for your oven (you'll need about nine 6" x 6" tiles to make a tile deck in your oven). I use Daltile Red Blaze quarry tiles in my oven. I called Daltile and confirmed that the Red Blaze tiles contain no harmful chemicals and are safe for use in an oven. But, you'll still need a make-up board (or peel) to get the pizza in and out of the oven. Tell the wife that you want your allowance early!  ;)
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Offline OzPizza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #307 on: November 23, 2005, 12:50:17 AM »
A few pix from my most recent efforts last week, the batch when I broke my Kitchenaid. This pie is what I call a hybrid half Italian Buffalo Mozz, have Stretched Curd Dairy Farmer's Caboolture Aust. made Mozz. I also made an interpretation based on product description of the Stanslaus sauce recipe using combination of products from an Australian brand who offers several different kinds of canned tomatoes, ie  diced, chopped, crushed, paste,pizza etc. I used a combo of their finely chopped tomatoes mixed with their puree in the same proportions as the stanslaus recipe (http://www.spcardmona.com.au/brands/ardmona/index.html).  It is very good, possibly debatable whether it could do with a smidge more puree or even a small bit of paste to thicken it up a tad.

Anyway result were superb:

(http://img353.imageshack.us/img353/4971/top5ts.jpg)
(http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/5848/side7cq.jpg)
(http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/4746/crosspizz8vy.jpg)
(http://img484.imageshack.us/img484/1172/rim8ui.jpg)
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Offline Wallman

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #308 on: December 04, 2005, 11:56:54 AM »
Last night I made several Lehmann style pizza's using Pete's 16 inch recipe (I doubled the quantaties in order to get 2 pizza's per mixing) and KASL flour.  2 dough balls rose in the fridge for about 40 hours and 2 rose for about 33 hours.  All sat for about 1.5 to 2 hours at room temperature (around 65 F) before shaping, dressing and baking.  I found the dough that rose in the fridge for about 40 hours stretched more easily than the dough that rose for about 33 hours, but they all seems to taste the same.  I put a bit of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon, in the dough that rose for 40 hours.

I made 2 home made sauces.  The first was an uncooked sauce using Redpack crushed tomatoes, McCormick pizza herb mix, sugar, olive oil, a bit of red wine, pepper, and garlic salt.  The second sauce was cooked using Contadina crushed tomatoes, sauteed onions and garlic, the herb mix, sugar, pinot gris, olive oil and red peeper.  This was simmered for about 35 minutes.  In my opinion the uncooked sauce tasted better with a fresher flavor, although it might have been because of the different tomatoes.  The pizzas were dressed with a mix of fresh mozzarella and some shredded mozz I bought in a five pound bag from Costco.  I used pepperoni and mushrooms on one pie, mushrooms and black olives on a second, and my personal favorite caramelized onions and hot cherry peppers on a third.  I made another pepperoni and mushroom pie, but I didn't take a picture. All tasted great. I think I may reduce my size to 15 inches which is the size of the tiles I have in my oven since the 16 inch shell when stretched out fully hangs over the edge a bit.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #309 on: December 04, 2005, 12:15:38 PM »
Recently I decided to experiment with building a home version of a “Hearthkit” “oven within an oven” and to use that arrangement to bake a standard 16-inch Lehmann NY style pizza. To construct that oven, which is shown in the first photo below, I first placed my usual pizza stone on top of four 6” x 6” tiles (unglazed, from Home Depot), one on each corner of the lowest oven rack. The purpose of the four tiles was to provide surfaces to hold two additional tiles in a generally upright position on each side of the stone. As shown in the first photo below, the four side stones were held in position by the next higher oven rack. I finished by placing four more tiles on the next higher oven rack in a generally cater-corner arrangement to provide an opening above the stone, along the general lines recently suggested by fellow member dkipta at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2107.0.html. My thought was that if the heat didn’t concentrate on the top of the pizza during baking I could turn on the broiler and direct top heat through the opening onto the pizza.

For the Lehmann dough recipe, I used the same recipe and dough processing approach as posted earlier in this thread at Reply # 280, page 15, except that I used even cooler water than I previously used. The water was quite cold and came straight from the refrigerator, and its use resulted in a finished dough temperature of around 67 degrees F. This, along with using a very small amount of yeast (about 1/5 teaspoon IDY), was done to extend the fermentation period to about 3 days instead of the usual 1 or 2 days. As it turned out, scheduling issues intervened and required me to use the dough after about 2 days.

The dough was brought to room temperature, which was about 65 degrees F, for about 2 hours before shaping and dressing. In retrospect, the dough should have been allowed to warm up for 3 or more hours since it had risen no more than 10-20 percent during the two days it was in the refrigerator and was still quite cool, around 55 degrees F, when it was shaped and dressed. The dough handled easily and, even though it was fairly extensible, I had no problems shaping and stretching it out to a 16-inch skin. About an hour before I started to put the pizza together, I had preheated the oven and “oven within an oven” for about an hour at around 500-550 degrees F.

Since my pizza stone is not big enough to accommodate a 16-inch pizza, I used my 16-inch pizza screen to hold and dress the skin, as is my usual practice when making the 16-inch Lehmann skin. The dough was dressed in a standard pepperoni style with added diced and roasted red peppers and caramelized sweet onion. The pizza on the screen was placed on top of the four top cater-cornered tiles where it baked for about 4 to 5 minutes. I then shifted the pizza off of the screen and onto the pizza stone below where it baked for about another 2 minutes or so. As I was doing all this, I could see that the bottom of the pizza was baking a bit faster than the top of the pizza and was darkening more than I usually prefer. So, I removed the pizza from the oven.

The pizza itself turned out fine and was very tasty, with the biggest difference, apart from crust coloration, being that the bottom of the crust was crispier than usual, which was a feature that I really liked, even though I might have preferred a lesser amount of bottom crust darkening. Also, the total bake time was about a minute or so less than the standard bake time I use. Overall, the pizza looked a great deal like the ones I saw recently in NYC over Thanksgiving. The rim of the crust was a bit smaller than usual--actually it was a fairly typical size for a NY pizza crust--but it had a decent, and fairly open crumb and a nice chew. I did detect a few large bubbles and small heat blisters at the rim suggesting some underfermentation of the dough (or simply a dough that was too cold), but that is something that can be easily remedied next time by simply letting the dough ferment longer (as I originally had intended to do anyway) or by extending the warm up time on the counter a bit longer until it reaches about 60 degrees F.

The experiment told me that I need to get a better understanding of the thermodynamics of the “oven within an oven” arrangement I constructed if I hope to achieve a better balance between the top and bottom baking of the pizza. Some possibilities that come to mind for future efforts include using a slightly thicker crust, a lower bake temperature and a longer bake time, and a different positioning of the pizza screen/pizza in relation to the upper tiles, the pizza stone, and the broiler element. I didn’t use the broiler element option this time, although had I done so I might have gotten more top crust browning. It’s even possible that I may remove the top tiles altogether in a future experiment and use the broiler element, much as Steve has done in the past with great success. I’d like to find the optimum configuration of both dough and baking procedure in order to get the added crispiness of the crust that appears to be possible using the “oven within the oven” arrangement.

Peter
« Last Edit: December 04, 2005, 12:18:04 PM by Pete-zza »


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #310 on: December 04, 2005, 12:22:02 PM »
And the slices...


Offline Wallman

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #311 on: December 04, 2005, 01:33:52 PM »
Pete,
You outline how to "design" a pizza in  Reply #29 on: October 07, 2004, 02:00:44 PM ». I'm trying to make a spreadsheet calculate the volume measurement for ingredients. You give conversions for salt, IDY and oil in that thread, but not water and flour.

 When I use the conversions Steve posted in the Ingredients and Resources forum http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,82.0.html I don't get the same results. Steve used 4.65 oz. for shifted flour and 5.3 oz. for fluffed/scooped.  What oz. to c. converstion would you suggest for KASL and water?  I can post the spreadsheet if you'd like to see it.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2005, 01:51:27 PM by wallman »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #312 on: December 04, 2005, 03:55:04 PM »
wallman,

Your post raises some very good points.

It is intentional that I don't use or suggest conversions for water and flour. Water is easy. One cup of water weighs 8.33 ounces, but if I actually weigh water in a tared Pyrex glass measuring cup, using the one-cup marking, I will usually get something like 8 to 8.2 ounces. To get a more usable number, I would have to dramatically increase the number of samples and average them. As often as not, I use the technically correct 8.33 ounce figure. Many people just use 8 ounces (avoirdupois), which is simpler and also the same as the liquid (volume) measurement.

Flour is a lot harder to convert from weight (usually ounces) to volume. A lot of people have attempted to do this, and if you do a Google search you will find all kinds of conversion charts and tables for flours. In many cases, they won't be the same. The problem with flour is its weight will vary depending not only the type of flour, but also on whether it is lightly packed (e.g., sifted) or tightly packed. Its weight will also change as it ages and the moisture content (it starts at around 14% at the mill) diminishes. Humidity can also affect the flour to a certain degree. Again, to get useful conversion data, one would have to take a large number of "cups" of flours, weigh them, and take an average. This would have to be done with each type of flour, and there would have to be a consistently applied method for measuring out the flour samples from a bag of flour. An example of this would be to loosen the flour in the bag of flour by gently stirring it, use a tablespoon to lift flour from the bag to the measuring cup, and then level off the top of the measuring cup with a straight edge without shaking or tamping the measuring cup. This is essentially the approach I take when I convert weights in the recipes I post to volumes, but clearly there are few people willing to do this when they are practicing a recipe. They will in most cases just dip the measuring cup into the bag, scoop the flour out, eyeball it to see if it is about right and maybe shake or tamp the measuring cup to be sure, and then move on to ther rest of the recipe. That's essentially the same approach I use when I try to convert recipes from volumes to weights to determine baker's percents. I try to think like the average person.

I have thought on occasion to take multiple weight samples as discussed above for the flours most commonly used by our members, but when the urge strikes me I usually just lie down until the urge goes away. It is far better in my opinion to buy a good scale and deal in weights for the flour and water. If your spreadsheet will help in this regard, or make it easier for those who don't have or use scales to make a better product, then it might be helpful for you to provide a link to the spreadsheet.

BTW, I have created conversion data for about two dozen ingredients that can possibly be used in pizza doughs. Some of the conversions were based on measuring one-cup quantities (as was done by Steve and other members); other were based on labels on packaging. Interestingly, they aren't always the same. But they will usually be close enough to safely use in most recipes because you can't measure out quantities of ingredients with great precision when using standard measuring cups and spoons. Different brands or sets of measuring cups and spoons will also produce different results. If it will help you, I'd be happy to send you a message with what I have done in this regard so that you can compare my conversion data with yours.

Peter

Offline abc

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #313 on: December 04, 2005, 08:25:58 PM »
Pete, your Hearth kit is interesting.  Do you really feel the need for some tiles at the top as your picture illustrates?

For me, my toppings on average,  and this mostly I mean the cheese, bubbles about 2-3 min longer than I like... that is, it begins to break down a bit more than I'd prefer, while the dough bottom and top isn't reaching the char that I like.

my heat comes from gas at the bottom of the oven.

Now, I don't remember what cheese you use, but I've read here somewhere that Grande handles heat well. 
I've been using a block of Polly Low Moisture whole milk.

To compensate I've taken the pizza out to cool for 5 min, then put it back in leaving the oven open door while the pizza still sits on the stone

However this doesn't help the top crust brown for the 2-3 min. more that I'd like.

And there's another problem... AFter this pie is done I need to wait another 10min. for the oven to heat up to 550 again since I left the door open, so all this is a time issue.

I tried parbaking the pizza today... it seems to be another alternative.  Also see extensive spring action from doing this.

Possibly the best chance to eliminate employing either of these 'crutches' is to try a more heat resistant cheese, or somehow change the dynamics of my oven... the stone sits a middle level of the oven... but I don't think this is it.  If radiant heat bouncing down onto the pizza top is the issue, I'd have a problem with crust top overbrowning but I don't feel I do... so if I bring the stone to a lower position, I probably would make the crust top take a bit longer even to brown, making me leave the pizza in the oven even longer... and the cheese has to deal with the 550 degree oven even longer. 

I'm trying also to hold off needing any sugar in the recipe... I do get the browning from a 24hr rise, I just need to bake it about the 8 or so min that I do to get it... I don't usually time it, could be 10min... I just eye it. 

Maybe I need some tiles on the sides like you, or it's a cheese issue.  I know another thing, when I top off my pizza with some fresh mozz. I top it 3 min. before my pizza is done.  I learned I cannot put it on the first stage, it breaks down too much by around 6 minutes.

Offline Wallman

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #314 on: December 04, 2005, 08:38:29 PM »
Pete,
Thanks for the quick feedback.  I'm not surprised by your point on estimating the volumetric weight for flour based on what I've read in this forum. I'm hoping to get a decent scale for Christmas!  For what it's worth, I did make a simple spreadsheet using your calculations that estimates Weight and Volumetric measurements using the Baker's Percentages for a Tom L. pizza.  I made an assumption of 5 oz. per cup for the flour, this is obviously open to debate.  Let me know if you think this is useful. The spreadsheet is at:
http://calculator.mealiea.com

Wally

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #315 on: December 04, 2005, 10:13:28 PM »
abc,

There is nothing particularly original with the Hearthkit-type arrangement I assembled. It borrows from ideas described by Steve and others at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,440.0.html and from dkipta’s suggestion to use the upper layer of tiles above the stone. If I had done proper justice to dkipta’s idea, I would have used more tiles to better enclose the “mini-oven” with just a single well-defined opening at the top. It’s also quite possible as you pointed out that I don’t need the upper layer of tiles and that the pizza stone and the top broiler element are sufficient. If that is so, it may also be possible to move the stone up one notch to move the top of the pizza closer to the broiler element. As you can see, there are many possible approaches.

It’s important, I think, to keep in mind that home ovens are not designed to make only pizzas. They are multi-tasking appliances intended to make not only pizzas but also much bigger meals, like a large turkey, that require a lot of head space. If you look at a Baker’s Pride deck oven, you will see that it is quite shallow. That is what allows the top and bottom of the pizza to bake at a balanced rate such that the top is done at the same time as the bottom, with the right amount of crust color, cheese melting and not burning, vegetables properly cooking, etc. To achieve the same results in a home oven requires trying out a lot of possibilities. In my case, using either a second pizza stone above the first one, or one or more layers of tiles, serves to foreshorten the oven to simulate a hearth or deck type oven. With my oven, the broiler may make the top layer of tiles unnecessary, but I will perhaps still experiment with approaches that foreshorten the oven while producing the proper amount of top and bottom heat.

You raise a good point about what I call “topping dynamics” for lack of a better term. It occurred to me after I viewed the results of the last pizza that I could have controlled the bake of the pizza by the way that I used toppings. However, I dismissed the idea of using that approach since toppings have not been a problem for me and it is easier for me to control crust thickness if I want to slow down the bake. Or I can adjust the stone level, or use a lower bake temperature and a longer bake time. What you might try in your case is to place a part of the cheese under the sauce so that it will be protected somewhat from excessive heat and melting prematurely and browning too quickly. I used a standard Saputo (Frigo) low moisture part-skim supermarket mozzarella cheese, but it is common among pizza operators to use a fuller fat cheese, like the Grande, to deal with premature melting and browning. Using one or both of these techniques might eliminate the need for you to open the oven door and let too much heat escape and to take other corrective measures.

There’s also nothing wrong with using a pre-bake. Member giotto does this with regularity with his NY style and with very good results. More recently, member Canadave posted his recipe for a NY style dough, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2175.0.html, in which his instructions call for a pre-bake. When I try out Canadave’s recipe, I plan to do the same thing. There is also nothing wrong with removing and replacing a pizza to get better crust crispiness and to otherwise control the final results. This is an approach that was recommended by member quido some time ago. None of these palliatives would be necessary, of course, if you had a Baker’s Pride deck oven in your kitchen. As you consider the possibilities, you might also look at this interesting piece on pizza thermodynamics, at http://education.arm.gov/teacherslounge/lessons/pizza.pdf., to see if it inspires you toward an easier or better solution to the issues you have been addressing. It would be preferable, I think, to solve all your problems by modifying the pizza itself rather than the modifying the oven itself. Once you get the pizza dynamics right, then you can always explore some of the interesting oven dynamics, as I am now in the process of doing.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #316 on: December 05, 2005, 01:04:29 PM »
Wally,

Thank you very much for providing a link to your Lehmann spreadsheet. It is a nice and simple-to-use spreadsheet.

When I first designed my spreadsheet, it, too, was intended to be specific to the Lehmann NY style dough recipe. But, as usual, I went overboard and expanded it to be usable for just about any dough recipe based on baker's percents, for any desired number of pizzas, except for deep-dish, for which I designed a separate spreadsheet, mainly for convenience but also because the dough weight calculations are a bit more involved. I now provide for the option to select either cake, ADY or IDY (but only one of these), and I also provide for the option to select either regular salt or Kosher salt (but only one). I added honey to the list of ingredient choices (mainly for Randy's American style dough recipe) and I added two "Other" ingredient choices, which can be just about anything, including vital wheat gluten, dried dairy whey, non-fat dry milk, etc. For the basic dough ingredients, except for flour but including water, yeast, salt, sugar and oil, the conversions from weights to volumes (teaspoons, tablespoons, cups and gallons) are built into the spreadsheet, as you did. I use a separate Sheet to convert the "Other" choices from weights to volumes. With a little tweaking, I can even allow for use of preferments as one of the "Other" choices. I have discovered that the more involved the spreadsheet, the more prone it is to errors, especially if someone accidentally or intentionally messes around with certain of the cells. I haven't tried to "crash" your spreadsheet yet, but there is a certain value to its simplicity, which may inherently make it more stable.

Peter

Offline canadave

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #317 on: December 05, 2005, 01:24:34 PM »
Quote
There’s also nothing wrong with using a pre-bake. Member giotto does this with regularity with his NY style and with very good results. More recently, member Canadave posted his recipe for a NY style dough, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2175.0.html, in which his instructions call for a pre-bake. When I try out Canadave’s recipe, I plan to do the same thing.

Peter,

If your pizzas with your "hearthkit" are coming out more well-done on the bottom than the top, you might want to change up things when you try my recipe, and dispense with the pre-bake (especially if you're using a screen).  I only do the pre-bake because otherwise it's tricky for me to get a dressed pizza into the oven and onto the tiles.  Plus, given your temperature issues, a pre-bake in your case would only make the baking differential between the top and bottom of your pizza even greater.

In terms of temperature control and making sure the bottom and top are both baked properly, I highly recommend the use of the top-down broiler element as a controlling factor.  To make sure the top bakes more (or quicker) relative to the bottom, switch to the broil element earlier.  If you want the bottom to bake more (or quicker) than the top, either don't bother with the broil, or switch to broil later in the process.  This has proven to be a very effective way for me to make sure I get a pizza whose top and bottom are both quite satisfactory (although it does take some trial and error the first few times you try it--but once you figure out how your oven reacts, it's great).

Cheers,
Dave

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #318 on: December 05, 2005, 01:47:18 PM »
Dave,

Thanks for the advice.

My practice is usually like yours. I typically bake the pizza on the screen for several minutes on an upper oven rack and then move it down onto the pizza stone. The trigger point for moving the pizza onto the stone is the rim of the crust starting to turn brown and the cheeses melting and bubbling. If I conclude that I need more top bake, or if the bottom appears to be baking too fast, I turn on the broiler, in the same manner as you mentioned. The Hearth-kit like assembly I used recently is a departure from my usual approach. I think the greater thickness of your crust from the thickness I usually use for the NY Lehmann style will help mitigate the top/bottom bake balance problem. Even with a top layer of tiles, I can still move the pizza on top of those tiles if called for, and use the broiler to control the top bake. It's exactly like you said. You try things, see what happens, and make changes the next time if necessary. Each time, you hope you learn something that inches you toward a better result. The experimentation also is a good teacher.

Peter

Offline abc

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Re: Tom Lehmann's NY Style Pizza
« Reply #319 on: December 13, 2005, 12:09:55 AM »
abc,


You raise a good point about what I call “topping dynamics” for lack of a better term. It occurred to me after I viewed the results of the last pizza that I could have controlled the bake of the pizza by the way that I used toppings. However, I dismissed the idea of using that approach since toppings have not been a problem for me and it is easier for me to control crust thickness if I want to slow down the bake. Or I can adjust the stone level, or use a lower bake temperature and a longer bake time. What you might try in your case is to place a part of the cheese under the sauce so that it will be protected somewhat from excessive heat and melting prematurely and browning too quickly. I used a standard Saputo (Frigo) low moisture part-skim supermarket mozzarella cheese, but it is common among pizza operators to use a fuller fat cheese, like the Grande, to deal with premature melting and browning. Using one or both of these techniques might eliminate the need for you to open the oven door and let too much heat escape and to take other corrective measures.

There’s also nothing wrong with using a pre-bake. Member giotto does this with regularity with his NY style and with very good results. More recently, member Canadave posted his recipe for a NY style dough, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2175.0.html, in which his instructions call for a pre-bake. When I try out Canadave’s recipe, I plan to do the same thing. There is also nothing wrong with removing and replacing a pizza to get better crust crispiness and to otherwise control the final results. This is an approach that was recommended by member quido some time ago. None of these palliatives would be necessary, of course, if you had a Baker’s Pride deck oven in your kitchen. As you consider the possibilities, you might also look at this interesting piece on pizza thermodynamics, at http://education.arm.gov/teacherslounge/lessons/pizza.pdf., to see if it inspires you toward an easier or better solution to the issues you have been addressing. It would be preferable, I think, to solve all your problems by modifying the pizza itself rather than the modifying the oven itself. Once you get the pizza dynamics right, then you can always explore some of the interesting oven dynamics, as I am now in the process of doing.

Peter



another polished reply from you Pete.  I quoted a portion of it above... I actually have been placing the cheese first, then sauce... for the past few months... not to postpone cheese browning, but something i decided to do ever since i started using the Lehman recipe.  Actually, what I've noticed is the whole tomato/cheese mix comes to a boil, not so much that the cheese dries out with any kind of overbrowning.   I've tried prebaking again on Sat... what i do is pizzascreen to stone... for about 3 min.  Then I pull it out of the oven, let it steam off for about 1min, and start topping... while giving time for the oven to heat back to 550degrees, as it drops to about 525 when opened for about 8 seconds to yank out the pizza.

the 3 min or so prebake is enough to free the pizza from the screen, I've noticed.  when I put the dressed pizza back into the oven, I've no longer used the peel.

I've begun to really like the bottom crust browning with this method of crust to stone w/o the screen... minimal screen marks, but this didn't really ever bother me, but the charring seemed more pronounced, more shock layered with subtle spots of paleness makes it look like it came from a hot oven.

It seems as though the crusts made in my past method with the screens from beginning to the last 4 or so min where upon I removed the screens would yield a crust that though showed charring, it wasn't as pronounced and there were overall, more brown shades.  As if the screen too evenly distributed the heat/shock and made the crust too pretty, less rustic, less old world.  In other words the prebake then 'naked' baking gave me a crust with black and white, with some shades of gray.  The nonprebake method with 'clothed' baking gave black, some white, and many shades of gray.

Most unfortunate is I didn't take any pics of the bottom, but I did of the top.  I'll have to shrink down the jpegs to be able to attach them up for viewing.

BTW I've had much success now with the Lehman dough than a few months ago when I first posted and first used the Lehman dough.

I've had to cut down the knead time, I do feel now I had been overmixing it with my Kitchenaid... this seemed to have given the crust a real NY Pizza quality and I was able to get larger voids.  Then my recent prebaking gave each pizza a few more large voids on avg. which I enjoy.

In using the 16" recipe, the past two weeks instead of using 7.95oz of water I've used 7.80oz, this has reduced the over extensibility I previously had a hard time getting used to.  I'll try 7.95 again just to double check, but I think overkneading was a main culprit of my problems reported a couple of months ago.

I use the dough anywhere from 18 to 24hrs of frig. time at around 46 degrees.  My frig. has a digital external temp adjuster.

With some control now with the dough, I'm also now curious about fiddling with a 18" pizza again and now with a prebake. 
I may even prebake w/o sitting the screen on the stone... this is your method of prebaking is it not, Pete.

Though you're getting the crust to 'set' i'm sure, does prebaking using the screen only, that is, not sitting it on a stone, result in any crust bottom browning? 


Too bad I ran out of flour now, and I do hope to be able to land some Grande Mozz.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2005, 12:13:38 AM by abc »